Head-On Collisions Attorney

Tulsa Head-On Collisions Attorney

Head-on collisions are terrifying, and they can result in serious injuries or even death. Drivers may be eligible to collect costs related to injuries or collect in a wrongful death claim if they were in a head-on collision or lost a family member.

An accident is sometimes simply that, an accident. It could be due to a mechanical issue such as brake failure, electrical issues, or loss of power steering. However, most head-on collisions occur when one driver is driving on the wrong side of the road. It’s usually due to intoxicated or distracted driving (such as texting while driving), hazardous passing, driving while tired, or some other type of driver error, such as a disoriented driver going the wrong way down the road or entering the wrong highway ramp.

What is a Head-On Collision?

A head-on collision is a traffic collision where the front ends of two vehicles typically a car, truck, or other motorist, collide. They hit each other when traveling in opposite directions, as opposed to a side collision or rear-end collision when the drivers are headed in the same direction.

Head-on accidents, sideswipes, and run-off-road collisions all fall into the lane-road-departure crash category. This is due to the fact that their causes are identical, albeit with different outcomes. When a driver fails to keep centered in their lane, the car either leaves the road or crosses the centerline, potentially leading to a head-on accident on the opposite side of the road.

To prevent crossover occurrences (and hopefully head-on collisions), traffic signs and road surface markings are used to assist cars through curves, as well as a wide center reservation (or median) and median barriers to separate opposing sides of traffic. Although barriers can be roadside dangers in and of themselves, on high-speed roadways, the severity of a collision with a median barrier is usually less severe than a head-on accident.

Who is At-Fault in a Head-On Collision?

Determining who is to blame for a head-on collision is comparable to determining who is to blame for any other vehicle accident. However, that task is typically never straightforward and requires the right kind of evidence.

It normally falls on the party who did not conduct their driving correctly or apply the same amount of care and reason as a regular person would in the same situation to avoid an accident. This is generally referred to as negligence and the be shown by proving all elements.

The negligent party in a head-on collision is the one who caused the accident owing to a lack of sound judgment or behavior. Not paying attention to road signs, drifting into oncoming traffic, or being under the influence of drugs or alcohol are all possibilities to show fault in a head-on collision.

When it comes to proving culpability in a head-on collision, the location of where the vehicles collided on the road is crucial. Unless there are significant mitigating considerations, the driver of one of the vehicles who was heading in the opposite direction will very certainly be held accountable.

Always take as many pictures at the scene as possible and get the names and accounts of all witnesses—this will help in proving liability and fault for a head-on collision.

Proving Negligence in a Head-On Collision

Negligence is established by demonstrating that the motorist acted carelessly or recklessly, resulting in your accident, injuries, and damages. Proving negligence, and thereby determining liability for a head-on collision accident, can be challenging. Negligence is established by showing four separate elements, and these elements must be present in any successful personal injury claim in Oklahoma.

From a legal standpoint, the four elements that must be established in order to succeed on a claim of negligence are:

  • Duty
  • Breach of Duty
  • Causation
  • Damages

Further explained, duty is proven by showing that the other driver had a duty of care that needed to be exercised to avoid harming other drivers on the road. It is generally easy to establish a duty of care, because, as drivers, we have an unwritten duty of care to all other motorists on the road every time we get into our vehicles.

Next, the driver must have breached their duty in some way. In order to show a breach of that duty, there usually was some form of recklessness or carelessness. Most forms of breach can fit into one of those two categories. When a driver partakes in texting a driver, this is deemed reckless and therefore, negligent. Same with driving while under the influence, distracted driver, or disobeying roadway signs.

Additionally, the breach of duty must have been the exact cause of the accident. The accident occurred because of the motorist’s breach of their duty to the other driver. This is established by showing they were not properly following the rules of the road in some way.

Finally, there must be some sort of damages from the accident. Either property damage to the vehicle, physical injuries, or both.

Evidence in a Head-On Collision Case

Evidence can come in many forms, especially in a car accident claim. All car accidents will typically have the same kinds of evidence that are used to show fault and establish negligence. Common types of evidence in a car accident case include:

  • Admission for the parties involved—sometimes the at-fault party will admit their fault. This is the easiest and best form of evidence for proving liability.
  • Medical records—these will be used to help establish the amount of damages a plaintiff can claim when filing a lawsuit in an automobile accident case. All medical records and related expenses should be diligently kept throughout the entirety of the injury.
  • Police reports—the police reports can be helpful in determining liability and providing extra witnesses. It can also help determine what parties were ticketed for the accident and if any arrests or convictions were made.
  • Video and photographic evidence—this can come from photos after the accident, as well as video footage from street cameras.

There are many other forms of evidence that can be submitted to the insurance companies or courts to help establish liability and negligence. It is always best to keep a record of documentation during and after a car accident. The more evidence, the easiest it is to establish a case.

Common Causes of Head-On Collisions

The fundamental reasons for head-on crashes are similar to those of other car accidents, and they almost always involve one of the drivers’ irresponsibility. There are reasons that a car accident can occur, and the following is not an exhausted list but rather the most common.

Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of a head-on collision. Distracted driving activities such as talking on a cell phone and texting are among the most deadly on Tulsa streets and highways. Other activities that can lead a motorist to cross the center lane and cause a head-on collision include eating and drinking, glancing at a GPS, or adjusting the radio or other vehicle controls.

Driving while under the influence is, unfortunately, another common cause of a head-on collision. Despite the fact that the dangers of driving while inebriated or intoxicated are well-known, many drivers disregard the risks and go behind the wheel nevertheless. Intoxication impairs driving skills in a variety of ways, and it can lead to disastrous mistakes or irresponsible driving, resulting in a head-on collision.

Driving the wrong way down the road or entering the wrong ramp can also cause a head-on collision. When a motorist becomes confused and goes the opposite way on a one-way street, highway entry or exit ramp, or highway, some of the most horrific head-on crashes occur. Many of these accidents occur late at night or early in the morning as a result of an influence or exhausted driving.

Reckless driving, such as exceeding speed limits or taking a curve too quickly, is often the reason for a head-on collision. Improper passing also falls under reckless driving and can be a cause of a head-on accident.

Head-On Collisions Statistics

According to the National Safety Council, head-on vehicle collisions account for nearly 30% of all traffic accident fatalities. However, the total percentage of head-on collisions compared to different types of car accidents is less than 5%.

In the latest reporting year, there were over 225,000 injuries reported from head-on vehicle accidents and 4,200 fatalities (there were a total of 37,750 traffic fatalities that year).

According to the most recent statistics provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Oklahoma was recently named in the top 10 most dangerous states to drive in nationwide.

Contact the Head-On Collision Attorneys at Graves McLain PLLC

Call the personal injury attorneys at Grave McLain after sustaining injuries in a head-on collision. An experienced Tulsa head-on collisions attorney will review the details of your case and determine the best course of action. Contact us today for a free case evaluation at 918-359-6600, or email us directly to request a Free Consultation online by filling out our online form.

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